Back to Basics – Pen & Paper

Back to Basics – Pen & Paper

Children are almost born with an electronic device in their hand nowadays. Toys have become more technically advanced. Even the youngest of children seem to have tablets and are much more tech savvy than we ever were.

There’s easy entertainment at every turn. They have such busy schedules with extracurricular activities taking up their evenings and weekends. Kids have very little time to be bored. But what happens when the charge dies, the batteries run out and there’s not a toy in sight?

Well, that’s when a simple piece of paper and a pen comes in handy. We’re going back to basics.

Noughts and Crosses

This is a classic!! In Britain it’s known as “noughts and crosses”, in the U.S. “tic-tac-toe”, in France “le morpian”, in Japan gomuku!! Who knew such a simple game was universally known?

Even young children understand the basics of this 2 player game. A three bar grid creating 9 square areas, each player alternates putting “x” or “o” . The first to link three in a row is the winner.


Despite the gruesome name, this is also a great game for kids. It’s aimed at children who can spell but you again you can tailor it for younger children or make it more complicated for children/adults.

One player thinks of a word or phrase and puts a dash for every letter in the word. If it’s a phrase they also leave a space before each new word so players can see how many words make up the phrase. Each player takes it in turn to choose a letter. If the letter is in the word/phrase then it’s filled out. If the letter is not in the word of phase then a part of the hangman is drawn. The winner is whoever guesses the word before the hangman is fully drawn.


This is another easy game to play, that becomes a bit addictive! You put 10 in a straight line horizontally. Leave a small space and put a second row of dots underneath. Repeat until you have a ten by ten grid of dots. Each player takes it in turns to connect one dot to the next dot (horizontally or vertically only) You can place you line anywhere on the grid. When a player creates a square they put their initial in the middle. The player who has created the most squares is the winner. You can easily scale the game up with a bigger grid (more dots) or down with a smaller grid.

Are there any pen and paper games you remember from your childhood? I’d love to hear about them.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *